What’s Up with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp privacy policy

In this digital world we live in; there will always be a few niggles and worries creeping in. The WhatsApp debacle regarding their new policy was the most recent, and boy did it cause an up-in-arms reaction.  And, mostly because the public didn’t understand the policy, or more accurately, that WhatsApp owners didn’t communicate it accurately and, to be honest, very tactfully.

As a company dealing with tech and digital issues daily, we thought we would explore what actually the whole WhatsApp privacy policy issue was about.  And, more importantly, as we are very aware of how vital it is to protect your data, we thought it a good idea to educate our valuable clients.  We want to point out that we are in no way supporting or knocking WhatsApp and their policy – we simply want to communicate the facts.

WhatsApp’s Policy

As communicated by WhatsApp in January, the policy is quite lengthy, so we have attempted to summarise as best we can.

WhatsApp users have until the 8th of February 2021 to accept the policy in order to continue using the messaging platform.  Should you not wish to accept their policy, you can simply delete your account.  You will see this message pop up:

“By tapping AGREE, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information.”

WhatsApp privacy policy

The Key Changes in their Privacy Policy

  • The new updates include more information about the WhatsApp service provided and how it processes data;
  • Partnering with Facebook is a big one, where Facebook’s hosted services store and manage WhatsApp chats (this is not new really – if you’ve ever added someone to your WhatsApp, you more than likely will see Facebook suggesting to befriend that same person on their platform);
  • The new policy looks at how WhatsApp partners with Facebook with regards to offering integration across the Facebook Company;
  • The big one is about how and why they collect data from you – their words, “WhatsApp must receive or collect some information to operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services, including when you install, access, or use our Services.

The types of information we receive and collect depend on how you use our Services. We require certain information to deliver our Services, and without this, we will not be able to provide our Services to you. For example, you must provide your mobile phone number to create an account to use our Services.” Understandably, all platforms collect your data when you choose to sign up with them.

You can read the full privacy policy info here from WhatsApp.  Another useful reference to read up on is here.

In a nutshell, while your data sharing is apparent, it isn’t that different across many other platforms. What you need to be aware of is what data you are sharing with the platform.  And, while WhatsApp declares they are not storing the content in your messages for onward use, we can only recommend you don’t message very private and confidential information. E.g., bank details, passwords, and login details to other platforms.

As always, be aware of what platforms you sign up with, and if you are at all unsure, you can reach out to us.  Although we are not consultants or affiliates of WhatsApp or its partners, we will always attempt to help you with tech.

For more about what we are about and what services we offer, do reach out to us by heading on over to our about and services pages or simply giving us a call on +27 21 556 3524.

We look forward to welcoming you into the Complete IT Business Solutions family.